The Shop - See “Tour the Shop” Post. To zoom tap images, to mega zoom, tap-tap, tap.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Public Television Tools - $19.95 plus S+H

A few years ago the National Public Television station WCVE, in Richmond Virginia, auctioned off the props from their production of Mercy Street, a Civil War era story line. There were several million dollars worth of stuff and the auction was held over at least two four-day weekends. Most of the props were just “old stuff”, with some genuine antiques mixed in. Several of us from Central VA  attended both weekends, a big effort.

I am not fond of auctions as people tend to over-bid, but I went along to carry stuff. I bid on and won a box of mixed old tools. I am a sucker for hand screws with threaded wooden rods. What a mix of stuff I got for my effort! I will not elaborate, some of it is in the photo. My trash bucket was happy. My cost was something like $5 per keeper.

Thursday, June 20, 2019


Upon occasion a woodworker hits upon a setup that faultlessly turns out a desirable object en masse. In the early 90’s I had one to produce marking/cutting gauges.  Everyone loved them and I made them by the dozens. Sold them at $10 a pop. Trekkies will remember the furry little animals that inhabited the starship Enterprise by the thousands. We called the gauges Tribbles.
Shop made (front), old timers ( rear).

The beams and fences were made of andiroba, a mahogany that the Woodworkers Club shop had in endless supply. Cutters from broken bandsaw blades, also in endless supply. Cutter wedges were scroll-sawn from maple for contrast. The wedge mortises were formed with a hollow chisel mortiser, with a quick taper trim by hand. Fences were made in two pieces with the beam mortise formed with a dado blade, then glued together. A tee nut is hidden in the beam mortise providing locking screw threads. Either a penny or dime is also in the mortise to prevent gouging by the locking screw, which was either a thumb screw or something fancier. A Watco finish made them look slick